Comparing IELTS and PTE: Which English Language Test is Right for You?

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Are you considering taking an English language proficiency test but not sure whether to choose IELTS or PTE? This blog post will compare the two tests, outlining their differences and similarities to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re aiming for immigration, study, or work purposes, this comparison will help you determine which test is the right fit for you.

Introduction to IELTS and PTE

If you’re a Nepalese student considering studying abroad, you may need to take an English language proficiency test as part of your application process. Two popular options for such tests are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE). Both tests are widely accepted by universities, colleges, and governments around the world. Let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities between these two tests to help you make an informed decision.


The IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. It assesses the English language proficiency of candidates who need to study or work in an English-speaking environment. The test is available in two versions: Academic and General Training. The Academic version is for those applying for higher education or professional registration, while the General Training version is for those seeking to migrate to an English-speaking country for work experience or training programs. Read more on IELTS


The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is another English language proficiency test that assesses the speaking, writing, reading, and listening abilities of non-native speakers. It is recognized by various universities, colleges, and governments around the world. The test is entirely computer-based and provides a complete and accurate assessment of a candidate’s English proficiency. Read more on PTE

Test Format and Structure:

IELTS test format and structure

The IELTS test consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The Listening, Reading, and Writing sections are completed in one sitting, while the Speaking section may be completed on the same day or within a 7-day window before or after the other sections.

  • Listening section: 30 minutes
  • Reading section: 60 minutes
  • Writing section: 60 minutes
  • Speaking section: 11-14 minutes

PTE test format and structure:

The PTE test is also divided into four sections: Speaking & Writing, Reading, and Listening. It is a computer-based test, and all sections are completed in a single sitting.

  • Speaking & Writing section: 77-93 minutes
  • Reading section: 32-41 minutes
  • Listening section: 45-57 minutes

Scoring System:

IELTS scoring system

The IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores consistently. The overall band score is calculated by taking the mean of the four individual section scores.

PTE scoring system

The PTE provides an overall score based on the candidate’s performance across all sections. Additionally, it provides scores for communicative skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) and enabling skills (grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse).

Test Availability and Locations:

Availability of IELTS

The IELTS test is available on 48 fixed dates each year, usually four times a month. It is conducted at various test locations around the world, including Nepal.

Availability of PTE

The PTE test is available throughout the year at designated test centers. This offers candidates the flexibility to choose a test date that suits their schedule.

Test Purpose and Recognition:

IELTS test purpose

The IELTS is widely recognized for immigration, study abroad, and work purposes. Many universities and colleges in English-speaking countries accept IELTS scores as part of their admission requirements.

PTE test purpose

Similar to IELTS, the PTE is recognized for immigration, study abroad, and work purposes. It is also accepted by numerous educational institutions and governments globally.

Which Test is Right for You?

When choosing between IELTS and PTE, there are several factors to consider:

  • Test structure preference
  • Scoring system understanding
  • Test availability and locations
  • Test purpose and recognition

Consider these factors carefully to determine which test aligns best with your needs and preferences.

In conclusion, both IELTS and PTE are widely accepted English language proficiency tests that can help you achieve your goals of studying abroad or pursuing an international career. It’s essential to thoroughly research and understand the requirements of the institutions or organizations you are applying to, and to choose the test that best suits your proficiency level and test preparation preferences. If you need further guidance, Gurubaa offers test preparation, mock tests, and career counseling to help Nepalese students make informed decisions about their educational qualifications and abroad career.

For more information, please watch this video.

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